Back Up Your Work

So, a couple of weeks ago my laptop died. Sure, that happens, right?

Buuuut I didn’t back up a single thing. So when my laptop died it took all of my writing – all the poetry, all the chapters, all the bad fanfic that I loved anyway – screaming into the void with it.

So. Go back up your stuff. Back it up right now.

Seriously.

 

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Would *You* Read it? Story Skeletons Thanks to Jim Butcher.

Apparently 2013 is the year of the Great Dental Meltdown. All my teeth have decided to fall apart NOW. My grandfather had dentures from a very young age, and always seemed very pleased with them. He’d spit them in and out and make clackety sounds with them. Fun! Well, now I understand why he liked them so much: I am ready to get a chisel and a hammer and just smash all my teeth out. 0.o

So my month hasn’t been as productive as I’d hoped.

The story so far: I’d just gotten back from my public library and I was pretty disappointed by the writing how-tos on offer. I just needed a bit of structure to plunk my ideas into. So I checked out Jim Butcher’s Livejournal, recommended by Michael R. Johnson, and the advice was amazing – simple and concrete.

A sad aside: I was all, “Who the heck is Jim Butcher?” But then I got there and was all, “Ooooooh…Jim Butcher.”

One of the things Butcher recommends is to distill your story down into two sentences, which Butcher calls a Story Skeleton. It looks like this:

*WHEN SOMETHING HAPPENS*, *YOUR PROTAGONIST* *PURSUES A GOAL*. But will he succeed when *ANTAGONIST PROVIDES OPPOSITION*?

This is the most awesome thing ever. It makes you want to hit yourself in the forehead with the heel of your hand, non? Because once you say it, it seems so obvious.

So I worked out Story Skeletons for the two most likely candidates of mine to ever be novelised:

1. When her almost-boyfriend is captured by Fairy Queen Lynn Ash*, T.F. Pigeon (waitress and minor water deity) sets off to Undermount to rescue him. But will she succeed when Queen Ash, assorted denizens of Undermount, and the Hamilton Street Railway get in her way?

For reference, pieces of this story are here, here and here. I changed the POV character, but I don’t know if that will stick.

2. When the mysterious Machine that supplies water to New Piller breaks down, Mesedsure must journey to the underground city of Foramen to find someone who can fix it. But will Mesedsure succeed when dangerous Outliers, hostile Foramenians, and Re himself gets in the way?

The one little piece of this that exists is here.

So, what do you think? Any preferences? I’m a little worried about the first choice, since I haven’t written much Urban Fantasy, though I’ve read some. :/ But I really have a pretty good idea where this story needs to go, and plotting will be more a matter of sitting down with a big piece of paper and some sticky notes. The second choice seem more up my alley but isn’t as fully realised as the first one. I’m not certain I want to have a deity (Re) as a character in the second one, unless he turns out to be an alien or whatever…

So…yeah. That’s the state of my mangled-y brain poo. Lemme know what you think.

*Everybody in choice number 1 needs a new name. I gave them all placeholder names and never bothered to change them…